What Are You Doing? 6 Thoughts To Persevere
Let's face it there are times that every one of us feel alone, out there on our own. Whether it's a situation of discouragement, difficulty, tragedy or perhaps just everyday life, at some point all of us get to that place of feeling like we're all alone as we strive to live for Christ. Do you ever feel like the only one in your school, your workplace, your family, neighborhood or even your church that is really trying to honor Christ with your life and make a difference in this world?
Take a moment to read the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:9-18.
There are six things I see in the text that remind me to just keep loving Christ and persevering.
God is never surprised. No matter what has happened in my life through the years it's always been a comfort to realize that God has never been caught off guard, He's never been surprised and He's never fallen off his throne. It has always been a comfort to know that God has never had to apologize to me and say; “I'm sorry Dave, I didn't see that coming.” God was fully aware of all that was going on – even though Elijah didn’t think so.
God is always at work. No matter what I think or how I feel, God is always at work. God’s will is not some huge game of hide & seek. He desires all of us to know Him intimately far more than we desire that for ourselves. He is always working in the heart and lives of people that are seeking after Him. It may not always appear to be the case by looking around, but God is always at work.
I hear God best in the quiet moments with Him. God shows himself in the big stuff, but speaks most in quiet times. As we see in Elijah's life God demonstrated great and mighty things through the wind, the earthquake and the fire, yet Elijah heard the voice of God and had fellowship with him in the quiet moment. There are always loud activities (distractions) taking place in our world but we have to make sure we find those quiet times to get away with God and draw close to Him so that we can hear His voice. Those quiet moments alone with God to hear His voice and know His heart, will always help to persevere.
Get out of the rut. Do you notice that Elijah’s response to God was exactly the same both times that God asked him; “What are you doing here?” I like the way The Message puts Elijah’s response; "I've been working my heart out for the GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies.” I sense a bit of frustration in his tone. He was so quick to throw this out that it feels like he has been rehearsing this phrase. That tends to happen when we feel isolated. We get so wrapped around our own thoughts and discouragement that it alone becomes our mantra. It’s important to know if you are in a rut. Have others around that can speak into your life and encourage you (Hebrews 3:13). Change your environment. Get out of the routine. Have a conversation with someone that will challenge your thinking. Read something that will push you and encourage you.
There are always others involved in God's plan. Even if I don't think so, this is true. There are always others that are out there striving to live for Christ and make a difference in their world. I may feel alone but I have to remember that there are always others involved. God revealed to Elijah that there were 7000 more just like him that had stayed true to God. I'm sure that was eye-opening. Look around and see what God is doing. Seek out others and listen to the testimony of what God is doing their life, church, or family.
God's plan is always bigger than mine. Dr. Bill Bright founder and president of Campus Crusade for Christ always said; “We need to dream dreams so big that they are doomed for failure unless God is in it.” Realize that God’s plans will not be thwarted by any means. Yet, He invites us to participate in the journey. It is there, in the journey with Him, that we find the joy, peace, comfort and purpose in this life for which we have been created.
What else do you see? How have you found yourself in a similar situation as Elijah and moved beyond the circumstance? How do you find time to regularly meet with God in those quiet moments?
I’d love to hear from you.
This picture was taken in Malibu Creek State Park in California during an adventure there.